Wednesday, 3 August 2011

What if you are fired because of Facebook

"The federal agency tasked with enforcing labor law has been fielding complaints from workers across the country who have been fired or disciplined for their work-related indiscretions on Facebook. Although the feds have taken up the cases of a number of jaded workers, others have essentially been told they have no one to blame for their workplace troubles but themselves.

"That includes a Walmart worker who referred to his manager as a 'puta' -- Spanish for 'whore' -- on the social networking site after a spat over store displays, as well as a frustrated Illinois bartender who took to Facebook to air his desire to see the 'redneck' patrons on the other side of the bar 'choke on glass' as they drove home drunk."

We have a simple principle in understanding your rights on social networks. You have all the rights you had before you went online but no new ones. So you are free online to discuss politics and religion as much as you want, but it would be wise to never blog or post about your day job.

This is a major disconnect between Cloud living and traditional living, but it is one people need to get used to. People like to talk about work. When you post a tweet or Facebook update you are not just thinking anymore, you are posting information to a public record. If you say anything that could hurt your employers ability to do business than you can legally be removed. Its that simple. So best to keep silent.

But if you live in nations with decent laws you are safe if you tweet or blog about politics or religion, but you should be careful there as well. Someone might decide not to hire you for a future job on the basis of that. In this case it will be very hard to prove you were not fired for any reason.

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